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Photo courtesy of CAT&Docs
Photo courtesy of CAT&Docs
The Museum of the Moving Image will host First Look, an international film festival.

Film buffs looking to explore the world of international cinema can do so at First Look, a 10-day festival taking place at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria.

From Jan. 5 through Jan. 15, the museum will screen more than two dozen “innovative new international” films from countries such as Brazil, Canada, Croatia, France, Georgia, Germany, Indonesia, Lebanon, Norway, Palestine, Poland, Portugal, Syria, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

This is the seventh year the museum will host this festival, and in addition to feature length and short international films, the festival will screen award-winning student shorts, a program of short works featuring audio recordings and a documentary that will be produced at the festival.

“This is an exceptionally strong edition of ‘First Look,’” said Chief Curator David Schwartz. “The films are at once remarkably assured yet boldly experimental. There is a sense of discovery to all of the works, whether they are by established masters or bold new talents.”

On opening night, the museum will screen “Prototype,” a film by director Blake Williams. The 3-D sci-fi-influenced film explores the aftermath of the Galveston, Texas, hurricane of 1900 that killed thousands. In his film, Williams combines archival footage and manipulated images to provide a critique on “technology, cinema and the medium’s future.”

Tongue Cutters,” a family-friendly Norwegian documentary follows the journey of 9-year-old Yiva who visits her grandparents fishing village to learn the art of codfish tongue cutting. The film will be screened on Jan. 6 at 1 p.m.

In the Polish nonfiction drama “Communion,” 14-year-old Ola must take care of her autistic brother Nikodem as he gets ready for his communion. Ola must also grapple with being the woman of the house as her mother does not live with the family. “Communion” is nominated for a Cinema Eye Spotlight Award, which honors “exemplary craft and innovation in nonfiction film.”

Photo courtesy of CAT&Docs

Photo courtesy of CAT&Docs

Taste of Cement” explores the lives of Syrian refugees who work as construction workers in Lebanon. A curfew imposed by the government forces them to stay in the basement of the site they are working on at night.

Photo courtesy of Bidayyat for Audiovisual Art

Photo courtesy of Bidayyat for Audiovisual Art

In “Railway Sleepers” filmmaker Sompot Chidgasornpongse shot footage of every active line on the Thai railway system for eight years. His film captures a two-day, two-night journey through the Thai landscape. “Railway Sleepers” will be screened on Jan. 14 at 4:30 p.m.

Photo courtesy of Grasshopper Film

Photo courtesy of Grasshopper Film

Tickets for each film cost $15 and a festival pass can be purchased for $45. For a full list of films, visit the Museum of the Moving Image website.

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